Newspaper Article – Painting for sister city

Painting for sister city

A Japanese artist from Napier’s sister city of Tomakomai (on the island of Hokkaido) is in Hawke’s Bay for a week, commissioned to paint for a Toyko [Tokyo] exhibition.

Mr Hidetoshi Kanazaki’s main piece of work will hang in the Tomakomai mayoral chamber when completed.

Because the hills obscure any scene of the whole of Napier, Mr Kanazaki took to the water via a small tug boat to capture his impression of the city from the sea.

He said the main oil painting, which will take two or three months work, will be done on his return to Tomakomai because his art materials were too bulky to travel with and he has had difficulty buying suitable canvases and paints in New Zealand.

He said it was also difficult to capture the true colours of Hawke’s Bay scenery compared with the colours he uses for similar work in Japan because of the intensity of the colours here.

Travelling with his letter of introduction from the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo, Mr Kanazaki has already sketched local scenes including Te Mata Peak and Napier from various vantage points. His work will feature in a major exhibition within a department store in Tokyo when completed.

He described his style as aggressive with strong colour, an expressionist style, sometimes influenced by the work of Gauguin, Renoir and Goya.

Many artists use light and tone to show distance in their work where Mr Kanazaki uses angles.

His trip to New Zealand was sponsored by Japan Airlines and he thinks his work, once on display, will create a greater interest of New Zealand in his country and encourage more Japanese tourists to visit here.

Mr Kanazaki studied at the National Valencia San Carlos Art School in Spain and worked on Japanese and Mexican scenes before displaying his 10 years of work in a one-man show in Tokyo in 1973.

Much of his Japanese work centres of Mount Fuji and although in New Zealand he anticipated working on seashore scenes he finds shots depicting lifestyle events more accurately reflect the New Zealand atmosphere.

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